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Defying Gravity by momoe

Format: Novel
Chapters: 26
Word Count: 122,943
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ginny, Teddy, Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, Victoire, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing, Harry/Ginny, Rose/Scorpius, Teddy/Victoire, James/OC

First Published: 04/26/2008
Last Chapter: 12/20/2009
Last Updated: 12/20/2009

Summary:





Seventh year Gryffindor Prefect, Albus Potter, and his girlfriend, Nat, have found themselves in an unthinkable situation: expecting a baby.  Murphy's Law applied, the next nine months will be filled with hardships starting with a pretty major one: telling the parents.


Chapter 10: 10..All You Need is Love








A/N: Quick a/n before we jump right in to this update: PLEASE check out the Hugo outtake to this fic I've posted called "When Hugo Met Mattie."  You'll understand after you read this chapter...




Defying Gravity

Chapter 10: All You Need is Love 



She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth, the remnants of her cherry lip balm she wore the previous night not even registering on her overly stimulated taste buds. She looked slightly left. There was one left. One bitter, salty, tangy treat left. On the right, a galleon-sized dollop of the sweet, fruity substance lay in the bottom of the bowl, tracks of the sticky stuff leading up the sides of the glass from previous swipes.

She looked left. She looked right. She looked left and sighed. She looked right and groaned. She shouldn’t, she really shouldn’t. She didn’t need the calories, for one. She had already met her weight-gaining quota for the month.

Her mouth watered, but that was to be expected. Increased saliva was normal, according to Christensen. Along with the tenderness, nausea…and these cravings!

She sighed.

“Just eat it,” came the exasperated voice from across the bed. Her head snapped up to find her boyfriend, lounged against the footboards in a pair of flimsy pyjama bottoms and a tee shirt, his hair messy, his eyes tired, staring at her over a book. She tilted her head sideways to get a view at the title.

‘Twinspirational: Real-Life Advice From Pregnancy Through the First Year’

She smiled. “Excuse me?”

Albus sighed, allowing the book to fall onto the bed in front of him. He fell forward and propped himself up on one hand and looked at her. “You know you’re going to eat it anyway. It’s food, and, let’s face it, you’ve been eating a lot of food lately. So don’t torture yourself. Mediwitch Christensen said it’s completely normal for you to eat everything in sight and start gaining weight, so, please, save yourself some time and despair and just eat the pickle.”

Nat looked into his eyes. He was tired. Moody. He hadn’t been sleeping well in the days since they found out they were expecting twins. Victoire and Teddy had pretty much left them alone after the holidays, leaving Jade in nursery school while they both worked. Nat and Albus only really saw them at dinner, which Nat reluctantly prepared, justifying that the elder couple was allowing her and Albus to stay with them for free, the least she could do is make a few meals. Besides, she reasoned, she needed the practice.

She decided to let Albus’s bad mood slide, this time, and picked up the pickle spear off of the plate. Then, she picked up the bowl of blackberry jam and dunked the pickle into it, dragging it up the side of the bowl to make sure the jam stayed on the oddly shaped pickle. She licked her lips.

“Wait,” Albus said. Nat looked up to find him bringing the book back in front of his face: over his eyes, to be more precise.

She shrugged her shoulders and bit into the pickle, savouring the bitterness and sweetness all at once. She finished the pickle in three bites before banishing the dishes to the kitchen and licking her fingers clean.

“All finished,” she told him and Albus lowered the book to a normal reading level. Nat furrowed her brow, wondering what his problem was. She rocked forward onto her knees and crawled from the head of the bed to the foot, manoeuvring a stack of books and a pile of blankets as she went, before tucking her feet under her when she sat. Albus lowered the book to the bed and looked up at her.

Her hair was wild from sleep and thrown up into a messy bun at the back of her head. She was wearing a tee shirt of his, a scarlet coloured one with ‘Gryffindor’ in bold, gold letters on the front. He couldn’t see it, but he knew the back read ‘Prefect’ in the same gold print. What he could see, however, was, aside from the tee shirt, she wasn’t wearing much else. The shirt rode high on her thighs as she sat close to him, and the corners of his lips turned upward.

Then his eyes drifted higher, from her bare legs to the hand covering her slightly distended lower abdomen, and his slight smile straightened to a line.

“Are you okay?”

His eyes drifted slowly up her body to rest on her eyes. Crystal blue and full of every emotion she was feeling. Fear. Excitement. Worry. The first two made his gut clench; the last one made his heart clench.

“I’m fine,” he told her softly. Unable to look into her eyes any longer, he offered her his hand. When she took it, he pulled her to him, and then they were laying together, her back against his chest. She picked up the book, and he brushed her hair over her shoulder and looked at the pages along with her.

Nat lay in front of him, her jaw clenched, tears threatening to spill out of her eyes. First he criticises her eating habits, then he can’t even look at her. Oh, she did not miss that look he gave her. He skimmed her body, a look in his eyes as if he wanted to eat her up. Then, as soon as he noticed her changing body, he just couldn’t stand to look at her.

“It says they’re each about four centimetres long,” she said softly, trying to keep her voice steady, “and they only weigh an ounce each.”

“Umhmm.” He made a noise near her ear, and she bit her lip to keep it from shaking. Hormones.

She read in his arms for another hour. She wasn’t sure what he was doing behind her, because he continued to make noise only when she spoke to him. Otherwise he was quiet. Even his breathing was quiet. It was too quiet.

Then, Albus moved behind her, pushing himself up into a sitting position. He stood, stretched, and moved into the bathroom. Nat was confused beyond belief at his sudden indifference to her. Regret. That was the only thing that came to her mind. He must regret even dating her, with this result, or sleeping with her at the very least.

She wouldn’t think anything of it, except for the fact that he’d been abnormally quiet ever since they found out they were having twins. She was still in shock and she could only imagine how he was feeling. He wouldn’t talk to her, but he didn’t normally go into too much depth about his feelings. This time, though, it was concerning her.

She closed the book with a ‘thunk’ and tossed it towards the pile of books she and Victoire had bought on a shopping excursion the day after Boxing Day. That was three days ago and Nat’d already made quite a dent in the pile.

She slid off the bed and over to her trunk. Sifting through the pile of clothes, she grabbed a pair of jeans and pulled them on. It took her four tries, but finally they buttoned. She was pushing them to a more comfortable position lower on her abdomen when the bathroom door opened and Albus came out, fully dressed in jeans and a green jumper. She scowled at him, and he walked over and pressed a kiss to her lips.

It was short, chaste, more of a peck, really, but it was more than she’d gotten from him in days. He grabbed his wallet from the bureau top and shoved it into his back pocket.

“Going somewhere?”

He turned to her and gave her a sort of a half smile. “Dad is taking James and me out to lunch, remember? While mum takes Lily shopping.”

“No,” her eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t remember that.”

“The books say it’s normal for you to forget things,” he told her, his eyes shifting to the pile of books on the bed. “Anyway, I’ve got to go before I’m late. You’ll be fine here alone, right?”

She nodded deftly. He kissed her forehead and then left the room, went down the stairs, and seconds later the front door banged closed.

She’d be fine because she had no intention of being alone. Nat jotted a quick note and left it on the bureau before grabbing her purse and her wand.

She needed to talk to Rose.








Rose’s house was quiet when Nat stepped out of the fireplace. She watched the green embers fade back into a crackling orangey-yellow before turning to face the room. It was empty. The room, which must have been a sitting room, had beige walls and a beautiful, polished oak floor. There were two sofas facing each other, separated by a glass-topped oak coffee table with ‘s’ shaped legs and little designs around the edges. There was a baby grand piano to the right and a three-stair staircase that ran half the span of the wall to the left. Above, hanging from the ceiling, was a crystal chandelier, and Nat realized this must be the formal sitting room. Across from the fireplace, the whole wall was floor to ceiling windows giving a picturesque view of the back garden of the house. She saw a familiar brunette on the patio and smiled.

Hugo was snogging a girl. Very enthusiastically, it looked like.

She heard thundering footsteps and headed up the short staircase into a hallway of sorts. The tan walls were lined with photos of the entire Weasley family, including a bunch of Rose and Hugo as babies and as they grew. At the end of the hall was a grand staircase, at the bottom of which a flushed, out of breath Rose stood, clutching a short, pink dressing gown to her body. She was barefoot, bare-legged, and had a serious case of bed head.

“Nat!” She cried when she finally got her breath back. “Merlin, I thought you were my parents! What are you doing here?”

Nat bit her lip to hide her laugh and looked up, catching a glimpse of Scorpius standing at the top of the stairs in just a pair of plaid boxers before he disappeared from view. Her gaze returned to her friend, whose face was bright red with embarrassment.

“I wanted to talk to you. But if you’re busy…”

“Nonsense,” Rose turned to go back up the stairs. “Just let me, erm—get dressed. I’ll be right back.” She hustled up the stairs and Nat moved past the staircase and into a brightly lit room. It wasn’t so much brightly lit as it was allowing sunlight in from the outside. There were floor to ceiling windows in this room as well, a long table in front of them, and then usual kitchen appliances. So this was the kitchen.

Nat moved to the cupboards and went about fixing pumpkin juice for three, setting it up on the long table. In the centre of the table was a bowl of fruit and Nat picked up an apple. She was about to take a bite, her mouth watering for the ruby red, sweet apple—

“Don’t eat that!”

She spun around quickly, knocking the bowl from the table and watching as the fruit flew through the air and landed on the floor. “Oh no!” She dropped to the floor and began scooping up the wayward fruit.

“Didn’t mean to frighten you,” Hugo told her, dropping to his knees to help her. “Mum puts wax fruit out. It’s just for decoration.”

“Oh,” she said, looking up as their hands touched the same orange. She never realized how blue his eyes were. They were like the ocean. Bright blue and full of laughter and mirth. She stood and noticed a pretty brunette behind them, her long, slender fingers tugging at the edge of her jumper as she stood there, nervously. Hugo slid the bowl of fruit back onto the table and gestured the brunette forward.

“Nat, this is Matilda, my girlfriend. Mattie, this is my cousin, Albus’s, girlfriend, Nat.”

Nat waved and Mattie smiled in return. The three took seats at the table and sat there in complete silence. Nat didn’t really have anything to say, and Hugo and Mattie seemed to be having a private conversation with their eyes. They must’ve been dating for a while, because they were so in tune to what the other was thinking and seemed to be arguing with their eyes and facial expressions. Nat wondered if she and Albus could communicate like that without words.

“You’re not supposed to be inside!”

Nat jumped at the sudden noise and spun in her chair to see an irate Rose, eyes wide, glaring at her brother in disbelief. Nat, confused, turned back to Hugo who was glaring at his sister. After seconds of that, Hugo took Mattie’s hand and led her outside via a door next to the windows.

“I don’t know what that boy is thinking, bringing a muggle in here!” Rose cried, sitting next to Nat and gulping down half of the pumpkin juice she’d left for her. Scorpius followed in a few moments later—fully clothed thankfully—his hair matted to his forehead, still wet from a shower.

“What’s all this yelling about?” He sat next to Rose and drank his own juice.

“Hugo brought his little muggle girlfriend inside. Mum says she’s not allowed inside. There’s too much magic in here, too many magical…things, for her to be wandering around inside the house.”

“Speaking of,” Nat interrupted twiddling her thumbs. “Where are your parents?”

“Working,” Rose shrugged, taking another long sip of her juice. She stood to refill her glass and Nat realized she hadn’t drank any of hers. She took a small sip, remembering the last time she’d had pumpkin juice and been unable to keep it down.

“Your parents trusted you guys here alone?” her eyebrows rose in disbelief.

“Er, not entirely.”

“We were supposed to go to the Potter’s today, but Aunt Ginny took Lily into London to shop, which is just dullsville to me, and Uncle Harry said he’s having a boys day with Al and James. I’m assuming that’s why you’re here? Al had to leave and you were all alone?”

“Erm,” Nat grimaced as her stomach churned and she pushed the glass away from her. “Sort of.” Nat’s crystal eyes connected with Rose’s brown and she silently communicated that she wanted to talk to her alone. She nodded her head to Scorpius and widened her eyes, hoping Rose got the picture.

“I think Nat and I need to have a little girl talk. Scor?” Rose turned to her boyfriend and gave him a “get out” look.

“Sure. I’ll leave. Video Games. One-sided chess. I’ll find something to do in this big, unfamiliar house to which I am a guest…” he was still mumbling to himself as he left the room and went further into the house than she’d been, she supposed a less formal sitting room was her best bet.

“I can’t believe we’ve been friends this long and I haven’t been in your house,” Nat breathed, her head tilting back and her eyes going to the vaulted ceilings and swirling ceiling fans. “It’s very…muggleized. You know, but, um…magicized…” Rose laughed heartily, and Nat giggled at herself.

“My mum’s muggle-born,” Rose reminded her friend, following her gaze. “Above here is my room. Do you want to go up there? We’d have even more privacy…”








Albus took a heaving breath as he stepped out of the floo at his house, but felt only a miniscule amount of oxygen enter his lungs. He couldn’t seem to take a deep breath these days and tried again. He felt as if he’d been having a minor panic attack these past few days since the whole twin revelations. Really, though…twins? Who would’ve thought it?

Granted, he had twin cousins. And his Uncle George had a twin that died. And Grandmum had twin brothers. Who knows if twins run in Nat’s family. He knew so little about Nat’s extended family as it was, so it could be plausible that twins ran in her family and no one ever knew…

The point is that he’s having twins and he’s not ready. Hell, he wasn’t even ready for one.

His father was sitting at the table in the kitchen reading the Daily Prophet, a cup of tea steaming in front of him, when he entered. Albus walked in and plopped into a chair at the opposite head of the rectangular table.

“Mum leave already?” he asked, his gaze going from the pantry to the cupboards, to the muggle stove that runs on electricity that his dad’d had installed. Anywhere but at his father. He hadn’t spoken to him since Christmas Eve except for the few minutes it took to firecall him about this lunch. And even that was staring into a fire and not his face.

“They’ve been gone all morning,” Harry answered, narrowing his eyes as his youngest son. “We’ve missed you around here.”

Albus nodded and twiddled his thumbs nervously in front of him. He didn’t need to be guilt tripped about not being around his family. Not with everything already on his plate. If his dad was just going to do that, Albus might as well have left right then. But he stayed.

“James not here yet?”

As if on cue, James walked into the kitchen through the back door. Walked was a bit more of an overstatement. He sort of trudged. Dragging his feet along. He looked like hell in a hand basket. His eyes were sunken in, and he looked even more bedraggled than Albus did.

“How’s it going, son?” Harry asked warily as James slumped into a chair between Harry and Albus.

“When did my life get so complicated?” James pushed a hand through his black hair, his voice quiet enough that Albus wasn’t sure if James was talking to them or himself.
“I hear you,” Albus muttered, summoning bottles of Butterbeer from the cooling cupboard with his wand, manoeuvring them across the room, and dropping them down in front of his brother and himself.

Albus’s gaze finally landed on his father. The man’s strong jaw was clenched tight as he looked between his two sons. James’s head had slumped to the table, his hand massaging his neck tiredly.

“Okay,” Harry let out a loud breath, “what the hell is going on?”

James and Albus looked at each other in surprise. Their father rarely raised his voice, rarely cursed. Albus bit his lip and nodded for James to talk, since it was pretty well known what his problems were.

James let out a loud sigh, scrubbing his hand over his face before turning his gaze to his father.

“It’s about this Jennifer, isn’t it?” Harry’s voice was softer, calmer, but it still had a bite of despair. All of this tension…and it was the holidays!

“Yeah,” James said tiredly.

The room was eerily quiet for a moment. It was never quiet in the Potter household, even with only half the family there. There was a soft tick! tick! tick! of the clock above the stove, but other than that, you could hear a pin drop. Then,

“So where’d you meet her?” Albus asked. He hoped to keep the attention on James so he wouldn’t draw attention to himself.

“Las Vegas,” came the short reply.

“As in, the United States?” Harry asked. He’d travelled all over the world with his job and had been quite a few places. He knew that city. Sin City. The City That Never Sleeps. Oh boy, what had his son gotten himself into?

“Yeah,” James nodded, sniffing loudly. Albus’s eyes shot to his brother. The poor sod wasn’t crying was he? “The International Quidditch Expo was in Las Vegas this year. I met her there…we got married there…”

“It all sounds horribly romantic,” Albus joked, only to get shot a glare by his father. He quickly shut up.

Harry realized, though, how much James needed to get off his chest, and encouraged his eldest to talk about it. James did. He opened his mouth and a flood of words spilled out. So much that Albus watched the clock. James talked for an hour and a half about his and Jennifer’s courtship, which wasn’t really much of. Halfway through, Harry made sandwiches and Albus made tea, all the while listening to James drone on and on.

Just a lot of sex.

As it was, James and Jennifer met in a club. Jennifer was working. As an exotic dancer. That in and of itself answered so many questions Albus’d had. She was beautiful. And fit. Incredibly fit. With nice legs. Even though Albus wasn’t supposed to notice that, as he was with Nat.

Jennifer had always been turned on by Professional Quidditch stars. She turned twenty-two the day of their wedding. James smirked when he said that, adding that it would be easy to remember her birthday if he could only remember their anniversary, or vice versa.

Their courtship was a short one. They met, shared a meal, shared a bed, shared many more meals and more beds. Then, one night James hung out at…her place of work, got a little pissed, and they ended up tying the knot later that night.

“They should not let intoxicated people get married,” Harry told him, outraged.

“My point exactly. But now Jen wants to file the paper work to get a marriage license here and I bought her that ring…she quit her job…” he trailed off, turning away as if he couldn’t face his father. Albus pressed forward.

“But—”

“Al!” Harry admonished.

“What? I heard a ‘but’!”

“But,” James started, glaring at Albus. Then he went back to staring straight ahead, neither looking at Albus nor Harry. “I don’t love her.”

The room fell silent again. Harry rolled it around on his tongue. If it could be a taste, it would be bitter…acidy. Albus sat back, his arms crossed. At least he hadn’t married someone he didn’t love. No, instead he got someone he did love pregnant…with twins.

“Let me get this straight,” said Harry calmly. “You got married to a…exotic dancer, whom you don’t love, then, instead of getting annulled or divorced or whatever, you allow her to quit her job, quit her means of lively hood, and drag her to another country. And you don’t love her?”

James breathed deeply, obviously relieved someone understood. “It’s not like I forced her to quit! Other than that, that about sums it up.”

“James,” Harry said it as if it were a curse word, his eyes raised to the ceiling.

“Dad,” James’s head fell onto the table again. “What am I going to do?”

“That’s easy,” said Albus as he stood to get a glass of water. “Don’t process the paperwork to legalize the marriage in England. Besides, to be legally married in the wizarding world, don’t you have to go through the bonding ceremony?”

Harry nodded at Albus before turning his attention back to his eldest. James had sad, scared look on his face. “And then you have to tell her that you don’t love her,” Harry added. “And help her get her job back.”

“She can pawn that ring, it sure cost enough,” Albus added.

“Well, that’s the thing. I’m not sure I can just drop her.”

“And why not?” Harry wondered, stealing a drink from Albus’s glass.

“She’s pregnant.”

Harry sprayed his gulp of water all over the table at the unexpected news. Albus’s eyes shot to James. James looked down at the table guiltily.

“Please tell me you’re joking,” Harry spoke, a dangerous tone in his voice. “Your mother and I cannot handle any more. Please tell me you’re kidding.”

“Well, it hasn’t been confirmed yet.”

“She didn’t take a home test?” Albus spoke.

“She says she won’t, that they’re not accurate.” Albus snorted, and James nodded in agreement. “Yes, I know. And we couldn’t get an appointment with a Healer until after the New Year, so I’m stuck in this sort of limbo…”

“Merlin, James.” Harry ran a hand through his hair. “Do not breathe a word of this to your mother until you’re sure.”

“Yeah, right,” James snorted. “I don’t have a death wish!”

Harry took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. An ache was forming behind his left eye from all of these problems. He squeezed the bridge of his nose for a long moment, then looked up, determined to change the subject.

“So, Albus, how’s Nat?”








“Something’s wrong with Albus,” Nat told Rose as she tucked her feet underneath her body on Rose’s purple duvet. The whole room was purple, a dark purple with lavender accents.

Rose grabbed the white-painted chair from her desk and sat, propping her feet on her bed. “What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Nat sighed, tugging on her hair to tighten her ponytail. “Something’s wrong with Albus. He’s just not himself since…well, since—”

“Since you found out about baby number two?” Rose offered, picking at her nails.

“Right,” Nat nodded. “Since we found out about baby number two. I mean, with one it was okay…well, I guess it wasn’t okay, but we were dealing. Handling it. Together. We were handling it together. But since Mediwitch Christensen confirmed it—the second baby—he’s been really closed off. Quiet. Too quiet.” Nat bit her lip and looked to her friend.

Rose sighed. “He’s trying to stay strong for you, Nat. But it’s all overwhelming, isn’t it? Remember when you guys first found out about baby number one and you thought he abandoned you? Well, he was in the Astronomy Tower.”

Nat smiled softly. “Our tower?” The tower they’d had their first kiss. The tower they’d first made love in, underneath the stars. The tower they used as a rendezvous point after Albus’s prefect rounds. Their tower.

Rose nodded, smiling. “Your tower. Even when he wanted to be alone, he wanted to be with you. So, now that you know that vital piece of information, form your own conclusion.”

Nat chewed her lip some more, staring at the wall for a brief moment, before nodding firmly. “He needs his space. Needs to think. But he’s afraid that I’ll think he’s abandoning me so he’s trying to sort out his thoughts and feelings while being near me. He’s sparing my feelings.”

“Very good.” Rose clapped. “Now isn’t that sweet of my dear cousin?”

“Very,” nodded Nat. They fell into a short silence before Nat’s face broke into a grin. “So, what do you think of Jennifer Smith-Potter?”

[[--]]

True to his word, James did not say anything to his mother about his relationship with Jennifer when she and Lily arrived back at the house nearly three hours after the boys were supposed to have been back from lunch. She was laden with bags, full of clothes, potion ingredients, and other supplies—including Owl treats for their brown owl, Seabrain, named using a mixture of names her children wanted to call him when the family bought him nine years ago.

When Ginny returned home, she went about her business, refusing to verbalize her surprise that Albus was there. She made a lovely dinner of roast beef and potatoes, and, for the first time in a long time, served her entire family. All five of them sat at the dinner table as if nothing was wrong, as if their lives hadn’t been irreparably changed in the last two weeks. It was refreshing. It was nice.

Until conversation turned to Nat and the babies. Nat was at Rose’s for dinner. Ginny frowned, hoping her son hadn’t had a fight with his babies’ mum. That wouldn’t be good. He assured her they were fine, though, and offered to do the dishes before dessert.

She bought treacle tart, Albus’s favourite, just for him. It wasn’t nearly as good as homemade, but she was a working mum, there’s only so much a person could do in a day.

“I’ve made a menu for New Years Eve dinner,” Ginny mentioned as she took the last bite of her dessert.

“What time?” Albus asked, scrubbing the dishes. “Victoire and Teddy are going to some ball in France, they’re leaving tomorrow and are staying for a week. She’s visiting her aunt or something, I don’t really know. And Nat and I are supposed to meet some friends at the Leaky Cauldron for the countdown.”

“Right, okay,” Ginny took her plate to the sink and plopped it into the water. Albus laughed, wiping soap suds off of his face. “We can eat around seven. Would that be okay?”

Albus nodded and Ginny turned to Harry, who nodded his agreement. “Great. Albus, you’ll bring Nat?” Albus nodded. Ginny hadn’t expected any less. Except for tonight, they were pretty much joined at the hip. “And James,” James’s head perked up at hearing his name. “You’ll bring Jennifer? We’d love to get to know her.”

“Sure, mum,” James nodded, guilt shining in his eyes. Inwardly she wondered what exactly he was guilty about: getting married or not inviting his own mother to the wedding. “We’ll be here.”

“I’ll be here, too. Maybe I should invite my boyfriend,” Lily spoke up. Ginny rolled her eyes and walked back to Albus just as she heard her husband say, “What? You have a boyfriend?”

“Al,” she laid a hand on his shoulder, “you and Nat should come over early. I’d like to talk to you two about some things.”

Albus swallowed hard before nodding. “Sure, mum. We can do that.”

Merlin, have mercy. 





Don't forget to check out the Hugo outtake for this chapter "When Hugo Met Mattie" on my author page!

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com